Dirt. Grime. Bacteria. Airborne allergens. As hard as you try to keep your home clean, these types of yucky things are an everyday reality. Taking the necessary steps to create a healthy home can not only give you peace of mind, but also help keep your family healthier.
"People think that if your home looks clean and smells clean, then it must be clean and therefore healthy for their family. However, when you look closely, you may be shocked by all the 'yuck' you find," said Dr. Roshini Raj, attending physician and a clinical associate professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. "Taking control of your home can make a big difference when it comes to living a healthier life."
Raj suggests these changes for a healthier home:
- Learn the tooth truth. Most people know to brush their teeth at least twice daily for good oral hygiene, but what they don't often think about is what is lurking on their toothbrush between uses. Viruses and bacteria can live for weeks on a toothbrush's surface. Make sure you're storing your toothbrush properly in an upright, dry place and use an antibacterial toothbrush cover to kill germs. Most only last 60 to 90 days, so make sure to swap out your toothbrush, as well as your cover, regularly.
- Be air aware. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor levels of air pollutants may be two to five times higher than outdoor levels. Make every breath count and really pay attention to indoor air quality. Use filters like Filtrete Healthy Living Filters in your heating and cooling systems to pull in and trap unwanted air particles such as dust, pollen, bacteria and viruses, while letting cleaner air flow through. Also check filters monthly and change them at least every three months. If you burn scented candles regularly, use a fireplace or have construction in progress, change your filter more often, as these contribute to poor indoor air quality.
- Don't be a track star. Every day, we walk through items like car oil, allergens, pesticides and other toxins. Remove your shoes before you enter the home to avoid dragging them throughout your home. If you have carpeting, take extra care as pollen and other allergens can be brought into the home on your shoes and then harbored in the fibers of rugs and carpets.
- Here comes the sun. Have you ever felt sluggish after sitting under the artificial lights in your home? Research shows that people who spend more time in natural lighting than artificial have increased productivity and alertness. So open up those blinds and drapes to let natural light shine in.
- Start a technology detox. In today's binge-watching culture, it's all too easy to let that next episode of the hottest show auto play. Remove TVs and computers from the bedroom for more and better quality sleep. You'll be glad you did when you feel energized and have a more productive day after a solid seven to eight hours of slumber.
What do you think? Share your healthy home tips in the comments section below.